Peggy Armstrong, (202) 220-3508, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C. – November 29, 2012) Jerry Slominski, senior vice president for legislative and economic affairs at the International Dairy Foods Association, issued the following statement on reverting to dairy policy from the Agricultural Act of 1949.
“Congress is not required to pass a five-year farm bill to prevent the higher support level for dairy farmers, as some have suggested. Congress has several other options available, including repealing the underlying 1949 Act, temporarily extending the current price support program until a new farm bill is passed and signed into law, or passing a new farm bill after subjecting it to amendments by the full House of Representatives.
“Congress should not be rushed into passing a farm bill that includes harmful dairy policy – such as government limits on milk production that will raise consumer prices, hurt exports and cost thousands of jobs – when there are many other options available that will resolve the issue without passing bad legislation.
“If it chooses to resolve the issue by passing a new farm bill, the House of Representatives can and should accept the bipartisan, compromise Goodlatte-Scott amendment that removes the controversial new government program to limit milk supplies from the dairy title of the bill while retaining an effective safety-net for dairy farmers.
“According to a paper by Professor Andy Novakavic of Cornell University, even if Congress takes no action at all and law reverts back to the 1949 Act, the Secretary of Agriculture has the ability to temporarily postpone the implementation of the higher support price until Congress takes action.
“IDFA supports a resolution of this issue prior to January 1, 2013, either by passing a new farm bill after adopting the Goodlatte-Scott amendment or by extending current law until all farm bill issues can be resolved.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.